2000 French Open – QF Interview

June 06, 2000
M. Pierce defeats M. Seles 4-6,6-3,6-4

Q. How are you?

MONICA SELES: Doing good under the circumstances.

Q. The third set, can you explain what went on there, the ups-and-downs?

MONICA SELES: It was very seesaw, I mean, third set. A few points decided here and there. Mary just played that much better, that much more aggressive.

Q. You’re in the match, get back into it. That rather pathetic double-fault. What happened there?

MONICA SELES: I just think that game, obviously I was very lucky to get back to 2-1 instead of being 3-Love down. Then I just had a terrible lapse there on a couple points at 3-All.

I think in a match as tight today, where both players are playing very well, both want to win, you really cannot let those mistakes creep in at those times.

Q. Are you still taking the antibiotics? How did that feel?

MONICA SELES: Oh, I’m still taking them. But, I mean, that’s irrelevant in today’s match. It was just a match that was so close and got decided. It was tough conditions out there, just got down to a few points that Mary played just better.

Q. Can you compare Mary’s level to the Hilton Head match?

MONICA SELES: It’s so hard for me to go back, that match was so different. That’s hard. I mean, totally different circumstances from the public to the state of the courts to everything.

Q. Here you always have a nice smile. With your experience coming back to Paris, is it a pleasure for you? Generally speaking, the fact that you play here, is it always the same joy as ten years ago, for example?

MONICA SELES: Each time, I mean, I come back, it’s one of my favorite tournaments to play obviously. This year I had a tough draw, having to play two French women in a row. I had to fight a lot of things in terms of that. But I always enjoy myself. Like I said, it’s one of my favorite tournaments. I think that explains a lot.

Q. Do you have the possibility of walking around Paris? Do you know the city?

MONICA SELES: I got to know the city pretty well, but not during the tournament. I got to come here I think in ’94, just to visit. I got to know Paris pretty well.

Since then, during tournaments, it’s really just practice and going back to my hotel.

Q. I didn’t see much of the Mauresmo match. Did you feel you were in a caldron each time with this crowd? This one of course they were cheering your mistakes, double-faults and everything.

MONICA SELES: Well, both matches were very difficult in terms of circumstances. It’s tough because it’s like not a usual tennis match.

But it’s fantastic. I mean, I wish we had the crowd when we play in the States, let’s not even say individual matches in the US Open, but Fed Cup behind you as here. I think if the crowd will support Mary and support her like that, I think she’ll have tremendous backing behind her.

Q. What do you think of the new format to play one-set match, the best?

MONICA SELES: I really haven’t heard of that one. I’ll have to think about that a little bit.

Q. It’s new.

MONICA SELES: They keep changing each time.

Q. What do you think?

MONICA SELES: I think really the women’s game is doing fine without any changes. I just think we always have to change something every few years, with the ranking system, how many tournaments you have to commit. That’s just my personal opinion.

Q. In the last two sets, did you struggle a little bit with your serve or not?

MONICA SELES: Well, I mean, I haven’t struggled today as much with my serve as I have done in the past. But a few key times it has definitely let me down. It let me down a couple other matches at key times. That’s something I definitely have to look into. I just try to keep going. You know, it’s tough conditions out there. Just stay focused and really believe that you’re going to serve really well the entire match.

But those were the differences that I have to make up if I want to win matches like today’s.

Q. You were the last American by the time you were on the court. By the time you were off, there were no more. None in the men’s draw either. Why do you think? It’s the first time in more than 20 years this has happened, or 30 years.

MONICA SELES: I mean, the men’s very strange. Obviously women’s, too. I think Lindsay was very unfortunate with her injury, the timing of it, how it happened.

It’s just one of those things that certain things happen. If you look at the bottom of the draw, it was so much easier from the beginning. It definitely turned out to be like that. I think probably for most American players, clay is not their favorite surface, and because we just haven’t grown up on it. I think it’s the same thing for Europeans, they don’t like to play too much on hard courts.